Math Might Not Always Make Sense

While Mathematics being my major in my degree, one may think that I strive in the field of mathematics and have a passion for it. However, it seems to be a different aspect in my own opinion due to my experience of it as a student. Throughout my early years I was put into a multi age aspect, this meaning that I was in a grade 1/2/3 class and 4/5 class. This wide range of ages made it hard for me to strive in school especially in the context of mathematics. This is because the older ages in both multi age classes seemed to be focused on as a priority and is why I struggled. The oppressive nature of focusing on the older ages is what affected me and is the reason I struggled in this subject from a young age. We also had the options to try the different grades questions, and although my competitive nature made me always try the hardest one I think that’s why my learning was affected. The foundation that we are supposed to develop in these early years is crucial, and I missed this opportunity due to my competitive nature and the teacher’s lack of engagement with the younger years. Leaping forward upon my high school years however, I think this passion had changed due to the passion my teacher had towards the subject. She really believed in different ways to learn things, and trying new ways to teach them. I developed this passion towards mathematics that was lacking in my early years and although I wasn’t great at it, I love a challenge. Although my skills for math aren’t very high, the passion I have for it makes me strive for success.

With the Inuit way of mathematics that we discussed in class, although I had prior knowledge of it from my EMTH class I do think it’s in a different perspective  when in this subject. Why must we teach mathematics in a westernized aspect? This question has come up a lot this semester for me and I think it has great meaning. There isn’t a right or wrong way to teach math, and the Inuit way is just another way to look at it. This method is a great way to not only educate the aboriginal way of thinking, it is also a deeper way of thinking for students because of the fact that it’s not common sense to them. Having the aspect of base 20 for example may be harder for our society’s students because they have to think more critically. We are so used to base 10 that the thought of base 20 could make a simple expression like 100+200 allot more difficult when in terms of base 20. The relationship of this system as well is a great concept that also grabbed my attention because it connects mathematics with the real world. In this case it’s the world of the Inuit people, but it can be easily connected to what our students face. The western way of thinking when in mathematics is the preferred way in our society, however,  I think incorporating the Inuit method may further develop our knowledge in this subject.

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